If you think paper mache is something that”s only good for creating pinatas out of balloons and old newspaper, think again. Seattle-based artist Dan Reeder creates some spectacular creations using the favorite medium of grade-schoolers with amazing results. Using pretty everyday items, he can create incredible creatures.
Reeder has been working with paper mache for forty years, and, over the course of that time, developed a unique method of creating his sculptures so that they are stronger and more resilient. Instead of building an armature of wire underneath like many other paper mache artists do, Reeder instead builds the forms with balls of paper mache and lots of masking tape, and then covers that structure with cloth dipped in glue. Besides being less fragile than paper, the cloth also allows for greater detail. The sculptures are then painted, and details like eyes, teeth and fingernails are added in as well.
Dragons, both “trophy” heads like these and full-body statues are a large part of Reeder”s work.
He doesn”t just create dragons (although those seem to be his favorites). He also creates plenty of other creatures.
Like this horrifying thing.
And this friendly “Blues Hound.”
Ever open about his process, Reeder has a number of cool time-lapse videos on his site, so you can see his work come to life.
Dark Butterfly. You can see how the more solid form allows Reeder to also cut into the sculpture to add features.
Watch till the end for the cute sea dragon baby.
And of course his cat is always on hand to check things out.
If you want to get in on the paper mache craft yourself, Reeder even offers instructional videos on his site so you can try your hand at it.